News

Caterer sentenced for theft at funeral reception

East Palo Alto man stole wallet while people grieved

An East Palo Alto man was sentenced to two years of incarceration Monday for stealing a wallet while working as a caterer with his girlfriend at a Belmont funeral reception last summer, prosecutors said Jan. 6.

Robert Spiva, 31, pleaded no contest last month to two counts of identity theft in a plea deal with prosecutors for no more than two years in prison, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Spiva will serve his prison term in county jail and has 301 days of credit for time served, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

His girlfriend, Paige Boswell, 22, pleaded no contest to one count on Dec. 5 and was sentenced that day to three years' probation and must enroll in a residential drug treatment program, according to prosecutors.

The couple stole a victim's wallet with credit cards and a checkbook while working as caterers during a funeral reception at a Belmont home on Aug. 2.

They charged items to the credit cards over the next week until police found the credit cards and other stolen items during a search of their East Palo Alto apartment on Aug. 8, prosecutors said.

Officers also found a box with debit cards and an insurance card stolen from a Woodside couple's mail weeks earlier. Both Spiva and Boswell were already on probation for an identity theft conviction in April 2013, prosecutors said.

"It's really despicable conduct; they specifically took advantage of the fact that people would be at the funeral," Wagstaffe said. "It certainly warrants the incarceration term that the judge has given."

Related content:

East Palo Alto couple pleads no contest to theft of wallet at funeral

— Bay City News Service

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by Former Resident of PA
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2015 at 11:13 am

Isn't it interesting that this caterer betrays the trust of a client and gets the exact same sentence (though probably in less cushy conditions) as the former governor of Virginia, who betrayed the trust of an entire state's population? Talk about haves and have-nots.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Nationally renowned Indian restaurant expanding to Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,441 views

Summer travel: Is anything changing?
By Sherry Listgarten | 8 comments | 1,028 views

I feel sorry for Stanford University
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 929 views

Swimming with the kids
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 581 views

Premarital and Couples: "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 576 views